Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Treasurer Steve Grossman to address Chamber tomorrow

Treasurer Grossman poised to outline initiatives

May 11, 2011 
By Todd Wallack, Globe Staff

State Treasurer Steve Grossman plans to tell business leaders tomorrow about his efforts to make state spending more public, shift some state deposits to community banks, and other recent initiatives.

Grossman, who took office in January, is slated to speak tomorrow morning at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event at the Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston.

In an interview, Grossman said he plans to talk about the need for pension reform and greater state reserves. Last month, the Revenue Department reported taking in $587 million more than budgeted. But Grossman said much of that increase is due to a surge in capital gains taxes, which are volatile, and he'd like to see the money put aside in the state's rainy day fund. "I'd love to start the year with $1 billion plus" in the fund.

He also said the state plans to start letting a limited number of users test out a new web site in August to let citizens see how the state is spending every dollar. "We're going to put the (state's) checkbook on-line," he said. Grossman's office is working with the state comptroller's office and the Governor Deval Patrick administration on the initiative.

Grossman also said he's optimistic about the state's upcoming $518 million bond sale, planned for later this month with investment banker JP Morgan Chase & Co. Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service reaffirmed their bond ratings for the state in March. And Standard & Poor's recently that named Massachusetts as one of only two states likely to improve their credit rating in the next two years, though the state's credit rating currently remains worse than some other states.

Grossman said he thinks the bond sale will be well received and is optimistic that many individual investors will participate. "You'll see a fair amount about this over the next couple weeks," Grossman said.

Click here to register for this event.

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